Is a Riding Mower a Lawn Tractor?

A female worker is riding a John Deere X739 Mower and mowing lawns

posted on Monday, May 20, 2024 in Blog

Yard work is yard work. But how do you accomplish yard work? Do you use a lawn mower or a lawn tractor? Is there even a difference? You’ve probably heard every possible name under the sun for outdoor lawn, garden, and land work vehicles. Some may call it a riding lawn mower tractor. Others may say it’s a riding tractor lawn mower. How about tractor riding lawn mower? Then there are those who use completely different names for either type of vehicle or simply don’t care. They just know you use it to complete outdoor tasks. Well, here’s the deal: There actually are differences between riding mowers and lawn tractors, however minuscule they may seem. These vehicles are, in fact, often used for drastically varied purposes and reasons. Let’s look below and learn a little more about these seemingly interchangeable vehicles.

What Type of Equipment is a Lawn Mower?
Lawn mowers are generally classified as outdoor maintenance vehicles for homes, lawns, and gardens. While they're occasionally used for other tasks, most operators rely on these machines for grass-cutting and manicuring tasks. Their easy maneuverability tends to make them better for lawn applications, especially cutting around bushes, shrubs, and other defined aesthetic spaces. 

Can a Tractor Be Used for Mowing?
If you’re wondering whether a tractor can be used for mowing, the short answer is yes. Tractors are usually equipped with a hitch used to attach many different implements that expand their applications to include tilling, hauling, plowing, and other types in addition to mowing. With their higher rates of speed and power, you may not find it necessary to mow with a tractor and may prefer a riding mower or push mower option instead.

What Are the Differences Between Lawn Mowers and Lawn Tractors?
When shopping for options from John Deere product selections, it’s important to note that the machine you may know as a lawn or riding mower is actually known as a lawn tractor. However, there are differences between other variations of tractors – compact utility and utility – and lawn mowers. When it comes to the lawn tractor vs riding mower analysis, the greatest differences are size, power, and purpose. As it stands, the two main types of lawn tractors beyond lawn mowers are purposed for larger landscapes and intensive practices like managing livestock, building fences, grading driveways, supporting construction tasks, clearing land, deep digging and trenching, and others. On the other hand, lawn mowers are used with a narrower focus – to mow residential or commercial lawns, manage grass and weed overgrowth, and support aesthetic landscape design. As for power and size, there are clear differences. For example, a John Deere X730 Signature Series Lawn Tractor, one of the higher-end and more powerful John Deere mowers, has a power rating of 25.5 HP and a maximum mower deck size of 60 in. Even so, it doesn’t quite compare in size and power to the John Deere 4052M Compact Utility Tractor with a power rating of 50.8 HP and significantly larger frame, wheelbase, and height. To be fair, there are smaller compact utility tractors that are more comparable to the mowers. However, be sure to note that the functions and purposes of each vehicle are still different.

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